Concert for America: Stand Up, Sing Out! brought together artists from Broadway, TV and beyond to spread a message of unity and hope yesterday afternoon at Town Hall. The first concert in the monthly series raised more than $100,000 to benefit the NAACP, Planned Parenthood, Southern Poverty Law Center, National Immigration Law Center, and the Sierra Club Foundation.
The audience took to their feet several times throughout the concert. Featured moments included Tony Award winner Chita Rivera performing “America” from West Side Story with some of the original Broadway production choreography; dance legend Ben Vereen breaking down into tears singing Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”; and Tony Award nominee Judy Kuhn inciting gasps throughout the audience when it was announced she would sing “Colors of the Wind” from Disney’s Pocahontas, for which she originated the vocals.
Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO of the NAACP, also attended and introduced Brian Stokes Mitchell singing “America the Beautiful,” followed by “Wheels of a Dream” from Ragtime. The entire cast of artists joined together on stage to sing an arrangement of “What the World Needs Now is Love,” which Concert for America co-producers Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley produced in response to the Pulse nightclub shooting in June 2016, and “Let the Sunshine In” from Hair.
Rudetsky and Wesley announced on stage last night that the next dates for the Concert for America series will be back at Town Hall on February 25, 2017, followed by a performance in Chicago on March 19, 2017.
The sold-out show featured performances and appearances by Betty Buckley, Michelle Collins, Lilla Crawford, Brian d’Arcy James, Sharon Gless, Judy Gold, Richard Kind, Judy Kuhn, Anika Larsen, Liz Larsen, Caissie Levy, Beth Malone, Carrie Manolakos, Stephanie Mills, Jessie Mueller, Kate Mulgrew, Julia Murney, Bebe Neuwirth, Kelli O’Hara, Piper Perabo, Rosie Perez, Billy Porter, Randy Rainbow, Caroline Rhea, Alice Ripley, Chita Rivera, Shayna Steele, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Ben Vereen, Lillias White, Betsy Wolfe and more.
The concert was live streamed on http://www.concert4america2017.org/. A repeat broadcast of the concert will take place this Sunday, January 22nd, at 9:00pm EST on the aforementioned website.
Concert for America: Stand Up, Sing Out! was created and organized by Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley in association with Your Kids, Our Kids with the support of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
For more information or to make a donation, visit www.concert4america2017.org and follow @Concert4America on Twitter and Instagram and on Facebook at Facebook.com/ConcertForAmerica.
Photo: Jenny Anderson